Childhood & Early Life
Ji Soo was born on 30th March 1993 in the national capital of South Korea, Seoul. He spoke broadly in an interview about his inclination towards acting since as far back as he could remember. He said that he was addicted to TV and reading about the lives of different actors in the tabloids and on the entertainment news channels.
Growing up in Seoul in a very average South Korean household made him somehow restless and he wanted to try a different path for his career. It was either acting or martial arts for him as he was already training for Judo in the elementary school. He also competed in the national Judo championships and won quite a few of them. He was in love with Judo to an extent that he became quite serious about making a career in the sport during his early teenage, but somehow, during his middle school days, he fell in love with performing arts, and dropped judo completely.
He started acting during the high school days itself and appeared in a few theatre productions at that time, such as ‘The Dreamers’, ‘Monsters’ and the ‘13th Hero’. Along with that, he also kept honing his acting skills through appearing in several low to zero budget short films such as ‘Beastie Boys’ and ‘Boy in Pain’. He was already becoming a highly competitive actor after gaining experience in the early years, so that when he finally started with professional acting roles, he was instantly comfortable in facing the camera.
In 2012, his acting aspirations brought him to JYP Entertainment’s office and he was taken in as a trainee, an offer he gladly accepted in order to learn different nuances of the art of acting, after he won an open audition. He started giving out auditions and what worked in his favour were the prior acting experiences and a good height along with handsome features.
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One of the first auditions Ji Soo got selected for was a series called ‘To the Beautiful you’, where he managed to grab the role as a student. It was a cameo appearance and Ji Soo’s role was for no more than a few minutes. But even in the small role, he managed to get the attention of a few producers, which somehow made it easy for Ji to grab some further small parts.
His role in the 2009 low budget indie film, ‘Seoul Mates’, where he played the leading role, also became one of the better testimonies of his talent.
Next up was another cameo in the TV series titled ‘Family’ in 2012 and for the remaining two years, he kept appearing in cameo roles in several TV series’ and did short films to keep himself well practiced.
Finally in the year 2015, he hit a jackpot as he got a major part in the hit series ‘Angry Mom’, where Ji played the role of Go Bok-dong. It happened to be a family drama show about a young high school student who drops out of school after she births a child. The series was a major hit and secured awards at the MBC Drama Awards and APAN Star Awards. Naturally, the whole cast benefitted from the show, so did Ji Soo.
In the same year, Ji Soo was seen in another career defining role of his career. He played the complex role of Seo Ha-joon in the high school drama ‘Cheer Up!’ He played the role of a suicidal high school student, who is one of the top students in the school, but is constantly getting pressurized by his father to perform better. The series also became a success and paved way for Ji Soo to enter 2016 with some solid turn of events, as it turned out to be the best year of his professional career.
He first appeared in ‘Page Turner’, a miniseries drama about three high school students who want to be pianists. The story revolved around a girl who lost her eyesight in an accident and took help from Ji’s character, who also happened to be an aspiring pianist.
Ji also appeared in the medical drama titled ‘Doctor Crush’ as a guest in several episodes as Kim Soo-cheol. And then came the series that placed Ji on the forefront of the best young supporting actors, a period drama titled ‘Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo’. Ji played the role of the 14th prince named Wang Jung. Although his role was small, but was noticed by the critics and Ji received praises for his portrayal.
In the 2016 drama series ‘Fantastic’, Ji Soo played the role of a lawyer, who changes his ways after falling in love with a girl. In the same year, Ji Soo played the lead role in the film ‘One Way Trip’, which became a favourite at the awards season and told the story about four best friends who set out on a journey that would change their lives forever.
Ji ended the busiest year of his life with a cameo appearance in the series ‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju’ and started the year 2017 with an appearance in the series ‘Strong Woman Do Bong-soon’. Presently, he is all set to appear in the series ‘Bad Guys 2: City of Evil’ in the later part of the year.
Ji Soo has earned several nominations for his performances in many award functions such as MBC Drama Awards, Blue Dragon Arts Awards and Baeksang Arts Awards and has managed to win a Rising Star Award at the 11th Max Movie Award in 2015.
Apart from his film and TV roles, he also appears in the variety shows regularly and has been a part of ‘I live Alone’, ‘Knowing Bros’ and ‘Showbiz Korea’.
Ji Soo has been openly single and has said that he hasn’t found time for relationships since 2014, but if he finds the ideal girl, he would love to fall in love with her.
Ji has a celebrity crush on Kim Hee-sun, who happens to be his ‘Angry Mom’ co-star.
In September 2016, Ji Soo was hospitalized for a brief period of time due to a bone marrow infection, for which he underwent a surgery.